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Computing in Modern Biology Workshops for Broadening Participation in STEM

Featuring Jeff Kelly (Professor of Biology) and Ed Higgins (Doctoral candidate in Biology)

Date: September 18, 2020 12:00 PM
Location: Online via Zoom

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Big Idea Challenge Workshop

Hosted by The Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships

Date: Wednesday, September 23, 2020 1-2 PM
Location: Online via Zoom

This workshop will allow interested faculty the opportunity to consult on preparing their value proposition statements for the OU Big Idea Challenge.
 

Join via Zoom

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Big Idea Challenge Workshop

Hosted by The Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships

Date: Friday, September 25, 2020 1-2 PM
Location: Online via Zoom

This workshop will allow interested faculty the opportunity to consult on preparing their value proposition statements for the OU Big Idea Challenge.
 

Join via Zoom

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Research @ Home
Sewage Surveillance of COVID-19 Prevalence Across OUr Community

Featuring Dr. Bradley Stevenson, Assoc. Professor Microbiology and Plant Biology

Date: October 2, 2020 12:00 PM
Location: Online via Zoom

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Research News

September 18, 2020

OU Names Two Senior Associate Vice Presidents for Research, Partnerships

John Antonio and Janet Ward

Following the recommendations of an internal search committee, the University of Oklahoma has named two senior associate vice presidents for research and partnerships. Janet Ward, the Brammer Presidential Professor of History and the founding director of the OU Arts and Humanities Forum, joined the Office of the Vice President for research and Partnerships on Sept. 1. John Antonio, who previously served as interim dean for the Gallogly College of Engineering, will join the OVPRP following the execution of a transition plan with the GCoE. Antonio currently holds the Howard and Suzanne Kauffmann Chair and is a professor of computer science.

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September 17, 2020

How Do Weather Forecasters Communicate Risk Before, During, and After Extreme Weather Events?

HWT Snap shot of the interactive platform that forecasters used in the experiment

Researchers at the University of Oklahoma’s National Institute for Risk and Resilience, Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies, and the National Severe Storms Lab recently conducted a transdisciplinary experiment exploring the effect of social and behavioral data on how weather forecasters communicate risk before, during, and after extreme weather events.

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September 17, 2020

OU Researchers Collect Data From Hurricane Sally

•	Photo of OU SMART radar deployment site south of Mobile, Alabama, during Hurricane Sally

University of Oklahoma scientists led by Michael Biggerstaff, OU School of Meteorology professor, deployed a Shared Mobile Atmospheric Research and Teaching (SMART) weather radar south of Mobile, Alabama, in advance of the landfall of Hurricane Sally. There they measured the structure of the winds in the hurricane boundary layer, the lowest mile of air above the ground.

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September 16, 2020

OU Forms Community-Led Think Tank

Team members of Blackspace Oklahoma

A community-led think tank is coming to Northeast Oklahoma City. The think tank, led by the University of Oklahoma, will research anti-racist frameworks in education through engaging stakeholders and researching precedents.

OU faculty members Andrea Benjamin in the Clara Luper Department of African and African American Studies, College of Arts and Sciences, and Deborah Richards in the Division of Architecture, Christopher C. Gibbs College of Architecture, lead the project with Vanessa Morrison, an affiliate faculty member in the College of Architecture and the co-founder of BlackSpace Oklahoma, a nonprofit organization on a mission to strengthen Black communities for social and spatial change.

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September 11, 2020

Improving Understanding of Climate Change Through Cloud Formation

Greg McFarquhar, the director of the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies and a professor in the School of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma

Greg McFarquhar, the director of the Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies and a professor in the School of Meteorology at the University of Oklahoma, will lead a three-year project funded by a $689,082 grant from the Department of Energy. The project uses unique sets of data collected in polar regions that give information on the small-scale properties of aerosols and clouds, data that will provide better insight into weather prediction models.

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September 10, 2020

Tracking COVID-19 on Campus Through Sewage Surveillance

Bradley Stevenson

University of Oklahoma researchers are testing wastewater samples on campus as a method to detect COVID-19 infections on campus. Led by associate professor of microbiology, Bradley Stevenson, the project builds on similar work being done across the country. 

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August 31, 2020

Researchers Receive $3 Million National Science Foundation Grant

Jizhong Zhou

A research team led by the University of Oklahoma has received a $3 million National Science Foundation grant to “understand the rules of life” through microbiome research. Microbiomes, a collection of microbes in a specific habitat or environment are “among the most diverse life forms on our planet, inhabiting almost every imaginable environment, playing integral and unique roles in various ecosystem processes,” said Jizhong Zhou, the OU director for the Institute for Environmental Genomics, the George Lynn Cross Research Professor, OU College of Arts and Sciences and an adjunct professor, Gallogly College of Engineering.

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August 27, 2020

OU Researchers Travel to the Gulf of Mexico to Intercept Hurricane Laura

OU team before departing for Hurricane Laura

A team of research scientists from the University of Oklahoma and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration National Severe Storms Laboratory have traveled to Texas near the Gulf of Mexico to collect data during the landfall of Hurricane Laura.

The data collected will allow for a better understanding of hurricane winds and the damage they cause. This knowledge will aid in the development of cost-effective building codes to lessen future damage, provide more data to improve other infrastructure, and increase storm resilience.

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August 26, 2020

OU Receives $20 Million Grant to Lead Inaugural National Science Foundation Artificial Intelligence Institute

Amy McGovern, OU professor and lead for the NSF AI Institute for Research on Trustworthy AI in Weather, Climate, and Coastal Oceanography, in the National Weather Center in the National Weather Center.

The University of Oklahoma is leading a National Science Foundation AI Institute for Research on Trustworthy AI in Weather, Climate, and Coastal Oceanography that is being hailed as a “historic milestone in environmental science.”

NSF recently announced an investment of more than $100 million to establish five AI Institutes to support research and education hubs nationwide. Amy McGovern, an OU professor with dual appointments in the School of Computer Science in the Gallogly College of Engineering and in the School of Meteorology in the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, will lead the NSF AI Institute for Research on Trustworthy AI in Weather, Climate, and Coastal Oceanography, which received $20 million of the NSF funding.

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August 25, 2020

Effectiveness of Computing in Modern Biology Workshops for Broadening Participation in STEM

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For decades, federal and local efforts have tried to improve participation and retention of women and underrepresented groups in science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) fields. The National Science Foundation’s Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research was created, in part, to address this issue in selected geographies, including Oklahoma. Despite small gains in numbers of scientists from underrepresented groups, this progress has been outpaced by the overall growth in STEM fields such that the STEM workforce does not reflect the diversity of the United States.

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August 19, 2020

OU and OSU Take Off to Support Atmospheric Research

CASS Drone

During August 2020, teams from the University of Oklahoma (OU) Center for Autonomous Sensing and Sampling (CASS) and the Oklahoma State University (OSU) Unmanned Systems Research Institute (USRI) joined forces at OU’s Kessler Atmospheric and Ecological Field Station (KAEFS) to conduct innovative atmospheric research using unmanned aircraft systems (UAS) or drones, which could lead to improved weather forecasts. Both the OU and OSU teams are developing and testing state-of-the-art UAS, instrumented with meteorological sensors designed to collect precision atmospheric data in the Earth’s lower atmosphere, which can be ingested by weather forecast models. Despite the challenges of COVID-19, the scientists and engineers from CASS and USRI were able to maintain safe practices and socially distance as they worked to together to push the envelope of UAS atmospheric research. 

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August 11, 2020

OU Researcher Receives Part of $28 Million Grant to Increase Geothermal Energy Production in the United States

Ahmad Ghassemi

Ahmad Ghassemi, the McCasland Chair and professor of petroleum engineering at the Mewbourne College of Earth and Energy at the University of Oklahoma, received $2.5 million of a $28 million grant from the U.S. Department of Energy with an additional $700,000 in matching funds from Coso Operating Company for a study that aims to develop technologies to increase power production from geothermal wells while decreasing production costs.

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August 6, 2020

New OU Research Could Inform Understanding of Storm Formation

A trailer-based atmospheric profiling system deployed by NOAA scientists studying thunderstorms and tornadoes in the Central Plains on June 12, 2017. A new study aims to apply this technology to improve the understanding of how storms develop in densely populated coastal regions. Photo by Brandon Smith, OU Cooperative Institute for Mesoscale Meteorological Studies.

A study led by researchers from the University of Oklahoma aims to improve scientists’ understanding of how storms develop in densely populated coastal regions.

Petra Klein, professor in the School of Meteorology and executive associate dean in the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences, leads the project team that includes scientists from the University of Wisconsin and two National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration laboratories located in Norman, Oklahoma, and Boulder, Colorado.

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August 6, 2020

OU Vice President for Research and Partnerships to Join Defense Science Board

Tomas Diaz de la Rubia

For 60 years, the national Defense Science Board has provided solutions to technological, operational, and managerial challenges faced by the Department of Defense. Today, Tomás Díaz de la Rubia vice president for research and partnerships for the University of Oklahoma joined the team that meets those challenges.

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August 4, 2020

New OU Research Could Inform Treatment of COVID-19

Molly Wong

Because COVID-19 is a brand-new virus, physicians did not have an established protocol for treating patients as the pandemic began to spread. However, a collaboration between researchers and physicians at the University of Oklahoma and OU Medicine provides a better understanding of how computed tomography imaging can guide the current and future treatment of COVID-19.

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July 30, 2020

OU Introduces New Data Science Institute for Societal Challenges

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A new institute established at the University of Oklahoma is designed to accelerate and integrate data science expertise across the university and harness data science innovation to solve real-world problems.

“As part of the university’s strategic plan, the Data Science Institute for Societal Challenges will build and expand on the research excellence in data science already in place at the university to bring the power of methods such as artificial intelligence and machine learning, visual analytics and other emerging tools of the digital era to important problems with high social impact,” said Tomás Díaz de la Rubia, vice president for research and partnerships.

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July 30, 2020

OU AG&S Faculty, Researchers, and Student Leaders earn AMS Honors

AMS Logo

Each year, the American Meteorological Society (AMS) recognizes outstanding individuals and organizations of the weather, water, and climate community through its Awards and Honors program. Last week, AMS announced that members of the College of Atmospheric and Geographic Sciences were selected to receive four distinguished awards. 

Dr. Fred Carr, Professor Emeritus in the School of Meteorology, is being recognized with the Cleveland Abbe Award for Distinguished Service to the Atmospheric and Related Sciences. AMS stated this award recognizes Carr for his tireless, selfless, wide-ranging service to the community that has had an immeasurable impact on the nation’s weather, water, and climate efforts. 

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July 21, 2020

Developing Sustainable Solutions to Oklahoma’s ‘Wicked’ Challenges

Carol Silva

Oklahoma researchers are innovating a new approach to develop and test science-based solutions for complex problems at the intersection of land use, water availability and infrastructure through a $20 million National Science Foundation grant to support this interdisciplinary research through Oklahoma EPSCoR.

Carol Silva and Hank Jenkins-Smith, co-directors of OU’s National Institute for Risk and Resilience are the science leads for the project. They described the central idea of the project as identifying many of the most pressing challenges facing Oklahoma over the next couple of decades, and to build the science teams and the social science framework to address those problems. During the five-year award, a team of 34 researchers from seven Oklahoma universities and institutes will work together to explore sustainable solutions to solve “wicked problems,” which they define as complex problems where there is not widespread agreement on what the problem really is, or if a problem even exists.

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July 16, 2020

OU Researchers to Study Impacts of Inequities in Research, Creative Activities

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Eleven research projects led by University of Oklahoma researchers will receive internal funding to study topics that address inequities in academic research and creative activity.

“The Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships on the OU Norman campus is funding these short-term projects that position OU faculty and their collaborators to effectively compete for significant external funding opportunities related to the impact of social inequities on knowledge creation and dissemination,” said Vice President for Research and Partnerships Tomás Díaz de la Rubia.

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July 14, 2020

OC-ALC teams up with OU on Educational Partnership Agreement

Dr. Tomás Díaz de la Rubia, University of Oklahoma vice president for Research and Partnerships, left, and Brig. Gen. Jeffrey R. King, Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex commander, sign an Educational Partnership Agreement July 14, 2020. The agreement will help both institutions cultivate aerospace technology development and will improve and enhance education in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics at the university. (Air Force photo by April McDonald)

Leaders from the Oklahoma City Air Logistics Complex and the University of Oklahoma announced an Educational Partnership Agreement to cultivate aerospace technology development and to improve and enhance education in science, technology, engineering and mathematics.

OC-ALC Commander Brig. Gen. Jeffrey R. King and OU Vice President for Research and Partnerships Tomás Díaz de la Rubia signed the agreement July 14, 2020.

King said this partnership makes sense because both institutions have overlapping circles of interest in cultivating science, technology, engineering and math, or STEM.

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July 8, 2020

OU Shatters Record for Sponsored Research

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The University of Oklahoma announced a record-high $255.6 million in research awards earned through grants and external funding by OU researchers on the Norman campus. The fiscal year 2020 total surpasses the previous benchmark of $218 million for the 2019 fiscal year.

“Achieving a record-setting year for research is a testament to the remarkable enthusiasm and talent of our Norman campus research enterprise,” said OU President Joseph Harroz Jr. “These extraordinary accomplishments, spearheaded by OU Vice President for Research and Partnerships Tomás Díaz de la Rubia, reflect the growing confidence of our external partners in the university’s ability to translate our research efforts into real-world impacts.” 

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July 7, 2020

OU Researcher Receives Department of Defense Young Faculty Award

Justin Metcalf

Justin Metcalf, assistant professor in the School of Electrical and Computer Engineering in the Gallogly College of Engineering at the University of Oklahoma,  has received a Young Faculty Award from the Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency.

In recent years, commercial and military demand for using the electromagnetic spectrum has exploded. Mobile devices, digital audio and streaming platforms compete with military needs for communications and intelligence. Metcalf’s research project explores how the electromagnetic spectrum has become critically congested.

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July 2, 2020

Interim Executive Director of the Office of Research Services Named

Andrea Deaton

Many of you know Andrea Deaton from her role as an Associate Vice President for Research and Partnerships and Executive Director of the Office of Research Services (ORS). Since becoming the Executive Director in 2006, Andrea has been responsible for ensuring the continuity of daily operations of all pre-award functions related to the administration of sponsored research and creative activities for the Norman campus and related programs on the Tulsa campus. Andrea will be retiring effective August 31, 2020, but her last day in the office will be July 15.

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June 25, 2020

Julian Sabisch Joins the Samuel Roberts Noble Microscopy Laboratory

Julian Sabisch

Julian Sabisch will join the Samuel Roberts Noble Microscopy Laboratory (SRNML) in July as a transmission electron microscopy and imaging research scientist. Sabisch will operate, maintain, supervise and provide research-related training principally on transmission electron microscopy and related equipment in the core light/electron imaging facility.

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June 23, 2020

OU Researcher Receives Department of Energy Early Career Award

Bayram Saparov

Bayram Saparov, an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, University of Oklahoma College of Arts and Sciences, was selected for a 2020 Early Career Research Award from the Department of Energy’s Office of Science. 

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June 18, 2020

The Measles Virus May Be Older Than Previously Believed


Measles is a highly contagious infectious disease that despite being vaccine-preventable still imposes a tremendous burden on human health. Like many human diseases, measles originated in animals. A spill-over of a cattle-infecting virus, the common ancestor to both measles virus and its closest relative, rinderpest virus, likely gave rise to the disease. The timing and circumstances of this important host switch, however, are still debated.

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June 17, 2020

Chelsea Julian receives OU Distinguished Performance Award

Chelsea Julian

Chelsea Julian, who at the time of her nomination was a marketing and public relations specialist in University Libraries, was selected to receive a Distinguished Performance Award from the Informational Staff Association.

“Chelsea is an amazing advocate for the work of the library's staff,” said Jenny Watson, University Libraries head of storage and delivery, in her nomination letter. “She makes sure that a University Libraries employee is highlighted in the Weekly Update that is sent to UL staff and other interested parties across campus so that we can learn more about our coworkers and their work. She works one-on-one with staff and faculty to find the best way to advertise their upcoming events and workshops –through the electronic signage, the UL website, local and national media, and social media.”

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June 15, 2020

OU Calls for Proposals to Study Inequities in Academic Research, Creative Activities

NSF Logo

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships announces a call for proposals that address inequities in academic research and creative activity.

“We live in a time when social injustice continues unabated,” said Tomás Díaz de la Rubia, vice president for research and partnerships. “Unfortunately, such injustices and inequities are ever present in the world of academic research, with what to most observers would appear to be little to no progress over the last few decades or projected for the future.”

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June 3, 2020

Oklahoma Research Team Receives $20 Million National Science Foundation Grant

NSF Logo

A new $20 million National Science Foundation (NSF) grant, administered by the Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research (EPSCoR), will support interdisciplinary research to benefit Oklahoma.

During the five-year award, a team of 34 researchers from Oklahoma State University, University of Oklahoma, University of Tulsa, Southwestern Oklahoma State University, Langston University, East Central University and Noble Research Institute will develop and test science-based solutions for complex problems at the intersection of land use, water availability and infrastructure. 

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June 3, 2020

Fighting Malaria with Moldy Cereal

cereal

Regents’ Professor and the director of the Institute for Natural Product Applications and Research Technologies, Robert Cichewicz, with Debopam Chakrabarti, an infectious disease specialist at the University of Central Florida, recently received a $3.8 million grant from the National Institutes of Health to use fungus-derived compounds to develop better treatments for malaria.

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June 3, 2020

Missing Mayflies

Mayfly

As the name suggests, mayflies typically begin hatching in May, but you might be seeing less around than in previous years. Increasingly, research is documenting the effect of climate change on grasshopper and other insect populations. Now, rising temperatures may also be a reason for a nearly 50% decrease in a mayfly population studied by OU researchers.

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May 27, 2020

Strategic Research Advisory Board Discusses Research Goals, Outlook in May Meeting

VPRP Logo

One of the hallmarks of higher education is the meeting of expert minds from diverse fields to explore solutions to and overcome challenges. Now, with the campus just beginning to reopen, one such gathering began online to share perspectives on how to safely resume research and creative scholarship on the Norman campus.

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May 20, 2020

OU Physicists Awarded Department of Defense Research Grant to Investigate Applications of Einstein’s “Spooky Action at a Distance”

OU professor Arne Schwettmann works on a laser-cooling apparatus

University of Oklahoma professors Arne Schwettmann and Grant Biedermann recently received a research award to investigate applications of what Albert Einstein called “spooky action at a distance” from the Defense Established Program to Stimulate Competitive Research, a program within the Department of Defense. The $584,814 grant will be awarded over three years starting in the fall.

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May 18, 2020

Two Graduate Students Receive NSF Fellowship

Morgan Schneider and Colton Ross

Morgan Schneider, a graduate student with the Advanced Radar Research Center and the School of Meteorology, received an National Science Foundation Graduate Fellowship to pursue her Ph.D. 

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May 14, 2020

OU Pilots Testing Program for Research Personnel Returning to Campus

Charles B. Goddard Health Center personnel collecting samples for PCR testing of the SARS-COV-2 virus.

The University of Oklahoma announced a pilot testing program to restart research and creative activity operations on the Norman campus. The program begins with a voluntary cohort of researchers who will complete a health screening and COVID-19 test before returning to campus.

“In this opt-in ‘Phase 1,’ all OU employees who have been approved to return to campus will undergo a PCR test for the SARS-COV-2 virus and complete health screenings developed by physicians at the OU Health Sciences Center,” OU Vice President for Research and Partnerships Tomás Díaz de la Rubia said. “Employees will undergo further testing and contact tracing during the summer, and those found to be positive for the virus will be asked to quarantine. Throughout the pilot program, our first priority is to ensure the public health of our community and the well-being of our students, faculty and staff.”

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April 30, 2020

Essential Equipment Prototyped and Manufactured at OU Donated to OU Medicine

OU’s Tom Love Innovation Hub staff unload small isolation boxes to be used during intubation procedures at OU Medical. These isolation boxes will help mitigate the possibility of droplet transmission of COVID-19 during intubation procedures.

The University of Oklahoma is leveraging its expertise and resources to alleviate the shortage of protective gear and critical equipment for health care workers. Recently, more than 300 face shields and 11 isolation boxes, manufactured at OU’s Tom Love Innovation Hub, were donated to OU Medical Center.

The equipment is part of the broad university effort to develop, prototype, validate and offer recommended essential equipment designs. For several weeks, a task force of over 40 engineers, designers, occupational health and safety experts, doctors and specialists from OU’s three campuses has been evaluating prototypes and iterating designs in an effort to find the designs that are safest and most effective.

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April 29, 2020

Researchers awarded NASA grant to improve forecasting

The CopterSonde drone is being flown next to a meteorological tower

As a part of a team led by Oklahoma State University, the Center for Autonomous Sensing and Sampling and the Center for Analysis and Prediction of Storms at the University of Oklahoma received a NASA grant to develop improvements for low-altitude weather forecasting. It is one of five university teams nationwide selected to examine a range of technical areas in support of NASA’s aeronautics research goals.

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April 20, 2020

Physicists Develop Approach to Increase Performance of Solar Energy

Solar Panels

Experimental condensed matter physicists in the Department of Physics at the University of Oklahoma have developed an approach to circumvent a major loss process that currently limits the efficiency of commercial solar cells. 

Solar cells convert the sun’s energy into electricity and are the main component of solar panels and many types of electrical devices as broad-ranging as satellites and calculators.

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April 17, 2020

Data Science and Visualization Expert Joins OU

David Ebert

Four months after accepting the offer, we are thrilled to announce that David Ebert will join OU in June as an Associate Vice President for Research and Partnerships and Gallogly Chair in Engineering. Previously, Ebert was the Silicon Valley Professor of Electrical and Computer Engineering at Purdue University, an Institute of Electrical and Electronics Engineers (IEEE) Fellow, Director of the Purdue Integrative Data Science Initiative and Director of the Visual Analytics for Command Control and Interoperability Center (VACCINE).

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April 16, 2020

OU Researchers Receive Internal Funding to Study Impacts of COVID-19

Covid-19

Ten research projects led by University of Oklahoma researchers will receive funding to address the COVID-19 pandemic. The recipients were selected from 72 proposals submitted in one week.

As specified in the call for proposals, the Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships on the OU Norman campus is funding these Rapid Response Research Seed Grants for short-term projects that position OU faculty and their collaborators to effectively compete for significant external funding opportunities related to COVID-19 prevention, mitigation, diagnosis, treatment, social factors and disparities, risk assessment and decision-making, and societal impacts.

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April 15, 2020

Multidisciplinary OU Team Unites to Prototype, Test and Validate Essential Equipment Designs


As the nation works to alleviate the widespread shortage of protective gear and critical equipment for health care workers and first responders, the 3D printing community, manufacturers and hobbyists are stepping in to help. With countless blueprints to choose from, identifying the safest and most effective designs is essential. 

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April 3, 2020

OU Researchers to Study the Impact of False Information on the Public’s Response to COVID-19


Four months ago, the existence of COVID-19 was unknown. Now, the disease has spread rapidly to almost every country disrupting society on an unprecedented scale in modern times.

As the world grapples to understand and contain the virus, a team of researchers at the University of Oklahoma received a $200,000 National Science Foundation award to study in real time how Americans perceive COVID-19 and how false information shared through social media influences their behavior.

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April 2, 2020

COVID-19 Testing Kits Now Available Due to Public-Private Partnership


It’s no secret that there is a shortage of kits to test for COVID-19. 

One local company, IMMY, develops, manufactures and distributes diagnostic tests for pathogens and has been assisting with COVID-19 testing. IMMY president and CEO Sean Bauman contacted University of Oklahoma researchers for help.

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March 30, 2020

In New Book, OU Professor Presents New Theory on LGBTQ Stigma

Merideth Worthen

In a new book, Meredith G. F. Worthen, professor of sociology at the University of Oklahoma, presents a groundbreaking theory of LGBTQ stigma – the first-ever theory about stigma that is both testable and well-positioned in existing stigma scholarship. 

In Queers, Bis, and Straight Lies: An Intersectional Examination of LGBTQ Stigma, Worthen introduces Norm-Centered Stigma Theory, which stresses the importance of the interplay between social norms, norm violations and social power. 

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March 30, 2020

COVID-19-Related Rapid Response Research Seed Grant call for proposals due April 6

Coronavirus

The Office of the Vice President for Research and Partnerships (OVPRP) at the OU-Norman Campus, in close partnership with the Office of the Vice President for Research at OUHSC, is accepting applications for an unprecedented Rapid Response Research Seed Grant call for proposals to address the growing crisis of the COVID-19 pandemic. The deadline for proposals is 5 p.m. CDT, Monday, April 6, 2020.

Read the full memo

March 19, 2020

Unprecedented Preservation of Fossil Feces from the La Brea Tar Pits: A 50,000-year-old Snapshot of Los Angeles Trapped in Asphalt

La Brea Tar Pit

While Rancho La Brea, commonly known as the La Brea Tar Pits, is famous for its thousands of bones of large extinct mammals, big insights are coming from small fossils, thanks to new excavation and chemical techniques.

Today, a team of researchers from La Brea Tar Pits, the University of Oklahoma and the University of California Irvine report the first coprolites – or fossil feces – ever discovered in an asphaltic – or tar pit – context. These hundreds of fossilized rodent pellets were found during the excavation of a parking garage for the Los Angeles County Museum of Art in Hancock Park in 2016, which had also yielded the more traditional La Brea fossils, such as extinct mammoths, dire wolves and saber-toothed cats.

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March 10, 2020

Why Taller Grass Can Be Bad News For Grasshoppers

Grasshopper

In northeastern Kansas, there's an open-air ecological laboratory called Konza Prairie. Scientists like Ellen Welti go there to study plants, insects, and big animals. "In the spring it has a lot of beautiful flowers, it has bison; everybody should go visit and check it out for themselves," says Welti, who is currently a post-doctoral researcher at the University of Oklahoma.

In this landscape, grasshoppers play a crucial role. They eat the grass; birds eat them.

Welti and her colleagues noticed that data collected over the past two decades showed the number of grasshoppers declining. Yet it wasn't for lack of food. The amount of grass on this prairie actually has been increasing, which Welti found "kind of interesting."

Continue Reading on NPR.org

February 20, 2020

A Sub-Neptune Sized Planet Validated with the Habitable-Zone Planet Finder

earth

A multi-university team of researchers has validated that a candidate planet signal originally detected by the Kepler space telescope is an exoplanet—a planet orbiting a star outside of our solar system. The planet, called G 9-40b, is about twice the size of the Earth and orbits its low mass host star (an M dwarf star) only 100 light years away, making it the second-closest transiting planet discovered by the K2 mission to date.

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February 6, 2020

OU Researchers Awarded NASA Grant to Study Emerging Disease Threats, Including the New Coronavirus

earth

An interdisciplinary team of researchers at the University of Oklahoma has been awarded a $730,000 grant from NASA to better understand emerging infectious disease threats in the region of Central Asia, including the 2019 novel coronavirus that is spreading from China. 

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January 31, 2020

OU Study Finds the Fingerprint of Paddy Rice in Atmospheric Methane Concentration Dynamics

Aerial photo of rice terraces

A University of Oklahoma-led study shows that paddy rice (both area and plant growth) is significantly related to the spatial-temporal dynamics of atmospheric methane concentration in monsoon Asia, where 87% of paddy rice fields are situated in the world. Methane is one of the major greenhouse gases. It has a lifetime of 12.4 years and its global warming potential is approximately 86 times higher than carbon dioxide over a 20-year period.

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January 31, 2020

Weather Radar Records Drastic Drop in Mayfly Populations

Mayfly

At the beginning of each summer, mayfly larvae emerge from bodies of water and shed their skin to become full-fledged mayflies, similar to how caterpillars become butterflies. Then, all at once, a swarm of these insects simultaneously takes flight to reproduce, acting as an important component in the food chain for birds. 

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January 14, 2020

OU Launches $9 Million Research Collaboration with Peruvian University

Tomas Diaz de la Rubia

The University of Oklahoma has entered an agreement to develop a $9 million program of joint research with Universidad Nacional de San Agustín, one of Peru’s largest and oldest public research universities. 

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January 14, 2020

U.S. HUPO Honors OU Researcher with New Investigator Award

Professor Si Wu

University of Oklahoma researcher Si Wu has been selected as a winner of the Robert J. Cotter New Investigator Award, presented by the U.S. Human Proteome Organization. 

The award is presented to individuals early in their careers in recognition of significant achievements in proteomics, or the large-scale study of proteins. 

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January 11, 2020

University of Oklahoma Research Team Helps Weather-Weary Ag Industry

summer storm clouds over wheat field

You don’t have to look far to find news, opinions and studies about our world’s changing climate and its effects on humans. But what is less accessible is how a changing climate impacts beef cattle production. A team of scientists and researchers from across the region set out to answer this and other questions during the Great Plains Grazing project funded by the U.S. Department of Agriculture. 

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January 8, 2020

Cancer Researcher Receives OU’s First National Institutes of Health MERIT (R37) Award to Develop Precision Radiation Delivery Tool

cancer cells

The quest to conquer cancer is motivating a team of researchers at the University of Oklahoma to develop a 3D scanner capable of guiding the radiation treatment, dispensing just the right amount of radiation to just the precise location, making real-time adjustments as treatment is delivered. 

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